September 21, 2020 – There have been a number of partnerships and mergers among executive search firms in recent months. Some provide national expansion opportunities, others more global reach, while still others allow for additional solutions offerings for clients requesting a full suite of talent management services.
The most recent: DRG Talent Advisory Group, which serves the non-profit sector, and education-focused executive search firm Wickenden Associates, joined forces. The deal comes as pandemic pressures are mounting in the non-profit and academic leadership recruiting space. With mid- and senior-level search assignment inventory down considerably since spring, search firms servicing the sector are finding strength by merging.
“Bringing together DRG’s 33 years of non-profit executive search experience with Wickenden’s 34 years of independent school expertise creates a company that is stronger, more responsive and supports the continued expansion of DRG’s talent advisory services” said Dara Klarfeld, CEO of DRG Talent Advisory Group. “Together we can bring an expanded suite of services to non-profits and educational institutions across the country and around the world, leveraging our collective wisdom and expertise.”
Wickenden Associates, founded in 1986 by James Wickenden, former Princeton University dean of admission, specializes in head of school and senior administration searches for independent schools.
Mr. Wickenden describes the alliance as a singular opportunity to bring two strong teams together in service of an even broader range of schools and educational institutions: “We are delighted to join with DRG and look forward to supporting schools of all types through critical leadership transitions and beyond,” he said.
Both Wickenden Associates and DRG are committed to gender inclusion & empowerment and enjoy a track record of presenting diverse pools of candidates and placing executives who stay in their roles for the long haul. “We are excited to be bringing together this team of professionals, all of whom share our values and commitment to diversity, social justice, global sustainability and empowering women, and look forward to deepening our emphasis in these areas going forward,” said Ms. Klarfeld.
Mr. Wickenden is joining the DRG executive team as a principal and Wickenden Associates will continue under the DRG Talent Advisory Group umbrella. Also joining DRG as consultants for independent schools are Andy Watson, Laura Hansen, Eric Peterson and Peter Thorp.
Looking to Expand
DRG continues to expand and is looking for professionals to join it’s team in the following positions: director of search services, talent consultant, search consultant, and research associate.
New York City-based DRG Talent Advisory Group is a talent advisory group. Founded in 1987, the firm offers a suite of services to help non-profits search for, attract and nurture innovative, diverse leadership. It also helps organizations to assess and transform structure, culture, governance, and compensation strategy and support professional and lay leaders through transition planning, talent and team assessments, professional development and executive coaching.
Ms. Klarfeld is majority owner of DRG. She is an expert in identifying C-suite talent and in providing strategic direction to non-profit boards and management. As such, she is sought out by many leading non-profit boards and leadership to help guide and advise them on issues relating to hiring talent, organizational design, negotiation and women in leadership. With over 20 years of experience working with and advising non-profits, Ms. Klarfeld is a thought leader in the talent advisory space.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media